Economic issues top concerns of most Pinoys – survey

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Five of the top seven most urgent national concerns and the second most pronounced personal concern of Filipinos have to do with the economy, and most Filipinos believe the government should collaborate with the private sector to accelerate economic development, separate Stratbase-commissioned surveys found.

These findings were discussed alongside the need for multi-stakeholder cooperation and investments during the first Session of the Pilipinas Conference 2021, Sustaining Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic Towards 2022 & Beyond, organized by Stratbase ADR Institute and held last Nov. 22 via Zoom.

“We continue to advocate for a more investment-driven growth,” said Dindo Manhit, Stratbase ADRi president, during his opening remarks. “We need to establish a favorable environment for businesses so we can attract not only domestic but even foreign investments, generate jobs, spur consumption and address generational inequality.”

A Pulse Asia survey, conducted from Sept. 6 to 11, identified Filipinos’ most urgent national economic concerns as controlling inflation (41 percent), increasing the pay of workers (40 percent), reducing poverty (29 percent), creating more jobs (25 percent) and providing assistance/ subsidy to those who lost jobs and livelihood because of COVID (19 percent).

Meanwhile, having a secure/ well-paying job or source of income (47 percent) followed the desire to stay healthy and avoid illness as Filipinos’ most pressing personal concern.

Meanwhile, Social Weather Stations found that 57 percent of Filipinos believe their quality of life got worse in the past 12 months, with 13 percent saying it got better and 29 percent saying it was unchanged. This drop was the steepest across all administrations since the SWS started doing the survey in the mid-1980s. The survey was done nationwide from Sept. 12 to 16 this year.

A later survey by SWS showed that three of the top four issues that should be addressed by national candidates were economic in nature: controlling the prices of basic/ service/ commodities (57 percent), providing jobs (54 percent), and increasing the wages of workers (27 percent). The survey was done from Oct. 20 to 23.

The SWS also found that 82 percent of Filipinos believe that the growth of the economy will be accelerated if the government collaborates with the private sector. Among issues that private investors can address to boost the economy, 65 percent of the respondents cited creating jobs, 57 percent cited expanding livelihood opportunities, and 46 percent cited help uplift the lives of Filipinos out of poverty.

Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala acknowledged that no one enterprise or sector, however large or vigorous, can sustain recovery efforts. “However, taken together, and working together, our individual contributions, however small, can add up to critical mass and sustainable momentum,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ramon del Rosario Jr., chairman of the Philippine Business for Education (Pbed), said the role of the business community has been very visible. “It’s the private sector that is creating the jobs. But government has to create an enabling environment for these jobs to be created,” he said.


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